16 March 2020 – The South African U-17 Women’s National Team (Bantwana) turned the tables on Zambia this past weekend (Saturday, 14 March 2020), beating them 3-0 thereby overturning a 2-0 loss from the first leg.
The victory earned Bantwana a spot in the final round of the FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup India 2020, as they joined four other teams – Cameroon, Uganda, Nigeria and Ghana.
Just like South Africa, Uganda reversed first-leg deficits in the qualifiers, while Cameroon, Ghana and Nigeria cruised through in style.
- In Yaounde, Les Lionnes U-17 proved too hot to handle for Sao Tome e Principe with a 6-0 win and 10-0 on aggregate
- Ghana’s Black Maidens completed a double over their Liberian counterparts with an 8-0 victory in Accra
- Nigeria continued their flourishing campaign for a ticket to India with a 5-1 home win against their Guinean counterparts at the Agege Stadium in Lagos on Saturday. Victory secured the Flamingos passage with an emphatic 11-2 aggregate win following their 6-1 first leg win last week in Conakry
- Elsewhere in Johannesburg, South Africa overturned a 2-0 loss from the first leg with a 3-0 win against neighbours Zambia to progress. Captain Jessica Wade broke the deadlock on 12 minutes before second half strikes from Nelly Gamede and Kananelo Taiwe completed the comeback
- In Kampala, five-star Uganda humbled neighbours Tanzania 5-0 to advance 6-2 on aggregate. Star player Juliet Nalukenge scored a second half brace with Margret Kunihira, Fauzia Najjemba and Grace Aluka also finding target.
First round, Second leg results
South Africa 3 – 0 Zambia (3-2 agg)
Cameroon 6 – 0 São Tomé and Príncipe (10-0 agg)
Ghana 8 – 0 Liberia (10-0 agg)
Uganda 5 – 0 Tanzania (6-2 agg)
Nigeria 5 – 1 Guinea (11-2 agg)
South Africa’s victory was the most thrilling of all, as they won 3-0 to complete a seemingly unlikely comeback. Two goals down from the first leg in neighbouring Zambia, Bantwana were given hope by a 12th-minute opener from captain Jessica Wade before completing the comeback through second-half strikes from Nelly Gamede and Kananelo Taiwe.
Tension levels were lower in Kampala, where Uganda reversed their 2-1 first-leg deficit with a degree of ease. The impressive Juliet Nalukenge grabbed a brace, with Margret Kunihira, Fauzia Najjemba and Grace Aluka also on target, as they put five unanswered goals past their Tanzanian visitors.
Ghana were the weekend’s biggest winners, racking up an 8-0 win over Liberia in which Ophelia Amponsah scored four times – all in the opening 14 minutes.
Also ending the round with a 10-0 aggregate scoreline was Cameroon. Les Lionnes U-17 finished the job against São Tomé and Príncipe with a routine 6-0 second-leg victory, with Brenda Tabe (2), Suzie Mbianji, Elise Ndome, Michaely Bihina and Larissa Luma all on target.
Nigeria also cruised through, beating Guinea 5-1 In Lagos to complete an 11-2 aggregate win. Toyin Lawal grabbed a double, with Imuran Rofiat, Alvine Dah-Zossu, Chinyere Kalu also finding the net for the on-song Flamingos.
- Morocco automatically made it through to the last round after Botswana, decided not to travel due to Coronavirus concerns. Morocco had won 1-0 in Botswana on 28 February 2020.
- The winner there, along with the five teams already safely through, will now play off for Africa’s three India 2020 places between 1 and 17 May.
The World Cup will take place from 2-21 November 2020 in India.
Second round FIXTURES:
South Africa vs Morocco (date tbc)
Uganda vs Cameroon
Ghana vs Nigeria